I just hope theres something in the new game for playing back three systems as they're currently nowhere near how a back 3 works in real life.
Here are some things that are literally the foundation of playing with a back 3 that currently do not work in FM:
- Ball side wingback needs to be way more aggressive in closing down. The key of any back 3/5 system is the ball side wingback closes down aggressively whilst the weak side wingback falls back and makes a flat 4 with the central defenders. Currently the wingbacks are so passive we usually see central midfielders going out and closing down the wings which destroys the whole structure of the tactics, and 5 flat defenders have nothing to do. Needs changing .
- The center of the 3 centerbacks needs to stay behind his two partners in build up a play. This keeps him available for a pass from his partners and allows him to see all his options. Any coach who plays a back 3 will tell you the central defender should always be behind the two outer ones in buildup. In the match engine we currently see them straight across in a line. Needs changing.
- Related, there needs to be a new role (or just an option specifically for a 3) that you can give the outer central defenders that encourages them to dribble. In a back 3 there will always be a free man in buildup play as no one presses high with 5 players. A lot of teams defend this by leaving one or both of the outer central defenders free. The response to this is for said central defenders to simply carry the ball up the pitch until something comes available. Watch Wolves play, or Inter, or Conte's Chelsea and you will see the outer central defenders carrying the ball as much as anyone else on the team. Way more than you see any defender to in a back 4, and way more than you can get out of the BPD role in FM19.
There either needs to be totally different roles for central defenders in back threes, or the behaviour needs to be hard coded in for back threes, but either way it needs to be fixed in a big way. Especially the wingbacks closing down.